A-44034, SEPTEMBER 1, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 317

A-44034: Sep 1, 1932

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BY WHICH FUNDS FOR THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION FOR THE ENSUING FISCAL YEAR ARE PROVIDED. PRODUCTION OR MANUFACTURE OF THE UNITED STATES IS UNREASONABLE. AS FOLLOWS: IT IS THE PRACTICE OF THE MUSEUM TO ASK QUOTATIONS OF AT LEAST THREE MERCHANTS ON ALL OPEN MARKET ITEMS IN EXCESS OF $50. FOUR CONCERNS WERE ASKED ON JULY 26. THE BIDS ARE ENCLOSED AS EXHIBITS. " BY WHICH THE FUNDS FOR THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION FOR THE ENSUING FISCAL YEAR ARE PROVIDED. UNLESS IN HIS DISCRETION THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT PERMIT. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT ARTICLES PURCHASED WHICH ARE NOT OF THE GROWTH. IN THE INSTANT MATTER THE FOREIGN MANUFACTURER'S UNIT BID FOR FURNISHING REQUIRED MICROSCOPE IS $168.75 AS AGAINST A PRICE OF $194.40 BID BY UNITED STATES MANUFACTURER.

A-44034, SEPTEMBER 1, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 317

CONTRACTS - FOREIGN-MADE PRODUCTS IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 473, BY WHICH FUNDS FOR THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION FOR THE ENSUING FISCAL YEAR ARE PROVIDED, BIDS OF FOREIGN MANUFACTURERS, FOR FURNISHING ARTICLES OF REQUIRED SUPPLIES TO THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, SHOULD BE DISREGARDED UNLESS THE EXCESS COST OF SUCH ARTICLES OF GROWTH, PRODUCTION OR MANUFACTURE OF THE UNITED STATES IS UNREASONABLE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO W. A. KNOWLES, PROPERTY CLERK, UNITED STATES NATIONAL MUSEUM, SEPTEMBER 1, 1932:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 12, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

IT IS THE PRACTICE OF THE MUSEUM TO ASK QUOTATIONS OF AT LEAST THREE MERCHANTS ON ALL OPEN MARKET ITEMS IN EXCESS OF $50. FOUR CONCERNS WERE ASKED ON JULY 26, 1932, TO QUOTE PRICE ON MICROSCOPES AS PER SPECIFICATION, THREE OF WHOM RESPONDED, AND THE BIDS ARE ENCLOSED AS EXHIBITS. I AM SUBMITTING THEM HEREWITH FOR YOUR EXAMINATION AND ADVICE. THEY COVER TWO TYPES OF MISCROSCOPES DESIRED AND DESCRIBED FOR USE IN THE U.S. NATIONAL MUSEUM; FIRST, BAUSCH AND LOMB OR EQUAL, THIS BEING FOR THE DIVISION OF PLANTS, AND THE OTHER, THE SPENCER OR EQUAL, FOR EXAMINATION OF MINERALS.

THE LEITZ CO., A FOREIGN MANUFACTURER, HAS SUBMITTED AN ALTERNATE BID ON THEIR MAKE MICROSCOPE OF $168.75, AS AGAINST $194.40 OF THE SPENCER LENS CO., THIS TYPE TO BE USED IN EXAMINING MINERALS. INASMUCH AS THE LEITZ CO. HAS SUBMITTED A LOWER PRICE AND HAS GIVEN DEMONSTRATION OF THE WORKING QUALITIES OF THEIR MICROSCOPE AND WHICH MEETS SATISFACTORILY ALL REQUIREMENTS, AS STATED BY DR. FOSHAG IN HIS MEMORANDUM OF AUGUST 10 HEREWITH ENCLOSED, AM I JUSTIFIED IN AWARDING THE ITEM (MICROSCOPE) TO THE LEITZ CO. AT $168.75 AS AGAINST THE SPENCER LENS CO.'S PRICE OF $194.40, THE LATTER PRICE APPEARING EXCESSIVE?

ALL CONTRACTS FOR SUPPLIES OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1933 MUST, OF COURSE, BE SUBJECT TO THE TERMS OF THE APPROPRIATIONS OR OTHER LAWS APPLICABLE THERETO. IN THE INSTANT MATTER THE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF THE REQUIRED MICROSCOPES FOR THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL MUSEUM, TO WHICH YOUR SUBMISSION RELATES, WOULD APPEAR TO BE THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 452, 473, KNOWN AS THE "INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1933," BY WHICH THE FUNDS FOR THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION FOR THE ENSUING FISCAL YEAR ARE PROVIDED. SECTION 4 OF SAID ACT PROVIDES:

SEC. 4. THAT, EXCEPT AS HEREINBEFORE PROVIDED, IN THE EXPENDITURE OF APPROPRIATIONS IN THIS ACT THE HEAD OF EVERY BUREAU, AGENCY, OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT SHALL, UNLESS IN HIS DISCRETION THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT PERMIT, PURCHASE OR CONTRACT FOR, WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES, ONLY ARTICLES OF THE GROWTH, PRODUCTION, OR MANUFACTURE OF THE UNITED STATES, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT SUCH ARTICLES OF THE GROWTH, PRODUCTION, OR MANUFACTURE OF THE UNITED STATES MAY COST MORE, IF SUCH EXCESS OF COST BE NOT UNREASONABLE.

IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF SAID SECTION 4 OF THE INVOLVED APPROPRIATION ACT, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT ARTICLES PURCHASED WHICH ARE NOT OF THE GROWTH, PRODUCTION, OR MANUFACTURE OF THE UNITED STATES CAN NOT BE CHARGED TO THE 1933 APPROPRIATION APPLICABLE TO THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, UNLESS THE EXCESS COST OF THE ARTICLES OF GROWTH, PRODUCTION, OR MANUFACTURE OF THE UNITED STATES BE UNREASONABLE. IN THIS CONNECTION, SEE DECISION OF JULY 26, 1932, IN A-43468, 12 COMP. GEN. 122.

IN THE INSTANT MATTER THE FOREIGN MANUFACTURER'S UNIT BID FOR FURNISHING REQUIRED MICROSCOPE IS $168.75 AS AGAINST A PRICE OF $194.40 BID BY UNITED STATES MANUFACTURER, A DIFFERENCE PER UNIT OF $25.65. SUCH DIFFERENCE IN THE UNIT BID PRICES SUBMITTED DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE UNREASONABLE.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT THE BID OF THE FOREIGN MANUFACTURER FOR FURNISHING THE REQUIRED MICROSCOPES SHOULD BE DISREGARDED, IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE QUOTED PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 OF THE "INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1933," WHICH REQUIRES THE PURCHASE OF ARTICLES OF THE GROWTH, PRODUCTION, OR MANUFACTURE OF THE UNITED STATES, EVEN IF SAME DO COST MORE, UNLESS SUCH EXCESS COST BE UNREASONABLE.